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Public Defender Tapped for US Magistrate Judge Post

By Paul Sussman |

A veteran federal public defender has been named Connecticut's newest federal magistrate judge.

Barbara Aaron

Family Law Reform Proposals Again Target GALs

By Jay Stapleton |

During testimony before the legislature last year, it seemed like the loudest voices in the debate over family court reform were those of divorcing parents angry at a legal system they believed had failed them.

Nineteen Grievances Add Up to Three-Year Suspension For Attorney

By Jay Stapleton |

A Bridgeport lawyer who has been the target of nearly 20 grievances since 2001 has had his license suspended for three years.

Woman Injured On Gym’s Exercise Device Collects $750,000 Settlement

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who broke her hip and wrist while working with a personal trainer at Planet Fitness has settled her lawsuit for $750,000.

Michael Shea

Xerox Lawsuit Says Executives Stole Trade Secrets, Launched Rival Company

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Xerox Corp. became a household name for selling photocopiers and printers. But the Fortune 500 company has been transitioning its business model from simply just supplying office machinery to providing actual services for corporations' back offices.

Gideon

Gideon: Reining In Rogue Prosecutors Should Not Be Taboo Topic

By Gideon |

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column outlining many instances of prosecutorial misconduct occurring over the previous few months, all of which seemingly went unpunished. I didn't propose any ideas to eliminate the problem but stated that it was the start of a discussion on a subject that is otherwise taboo in the legal profession.

Litigant's Daughter Fined for Peeking at Opposing Counsel's Notes

By Jay Stapleton |

The judicial system works best when attorneys show professional courtesy and respect for everyone in the courtroom, including adversaries. Rules of Professional Conduct demand that lawyers act in a way that upholds the "dignity" of the judicial process.

Tribe Sues State Over Attempt to Halt High-Interest Loans

By Jay Stapleton |

American Indian tribes enjoy certain legal rights, including sovereign immunity from lawsuits brought by government agencies.

Hospital Settles ADA Complaint By Hearing-Impaired Patient

By Christian Nolan |

A Hartford area hospital and the federal government have settled a dispute after a hearing-impaired patient reported that the hospital wasn't providing the necessary services to ensure adequate communication between the patient and staff.

Yong Hen Chang, who was granted admission to the California State Bar posthumously through efforts of UC Davis law students.

90 Years After Death, Yale-Educated Chinese Lawyer Gets Bar Card

By Paul Sussman and Jay Stapleton |

In the mid-1800s, Chinese immigrants didn't simply encounter bigotry. State and federal laws severely restricted their rights and barred them from becoming U.S. citizens.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: It's High Time To End the War on Drugs

By Norm Pattis |

What if just about everything we think we know about the war on drugs is wrong?

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: The Barely Authorized Practice of Law

By Mark Dubois |

Back in my days of trying cases and teaching others how to do it, we had a requirement that if we could not articulate the entire case in a single sentence that our non-lawyer spouses would understand, we were not ready to go to trial.

Kelly Reardon

Updated: Settlement Forged Just Before Trial in Priest Abuse Case

By Christian Nolan |

A Massachusetts woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest in Norwich over the course of her entire childhood has settled her lawsuit against the diocese for $1.1 million.

Conn. Lawsuits Accuse DirecTV of Deceptive Tactics

By Christian Nolan |

It's difficult to watch television for any length of time without seeing a commercial with Rob Lowe and "creepy Rob Lowe" urging viewers to sign up with satellite television provider DirecTV.

Conn. Court Says Rastafarian Worker Can Sue AutoZone

By Christian Nolan |

Doris Feliciano is a black female who practices the Rastafarian religion. She claims her former employer, AutoZone, had a problem with that and discriminated against her. She also claims an ex-boss sexually harassed her at work.

Accused Killer Asks Conn. Supreme Court To Toss Out ‘Coerced’ Confession

By Christian Nolan |

A man convicted of murder is asking the state's highest court for a new trial on grounds that his confession was coerced by police and should not have been allowed as evidence against him at trial.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Firms Run Afoul of Law When Employing Paralegals

By Mark Dubois |

I have previously written about the independent contractor trap in the context of lawyers employing associates as independent contractors instead of employees and the problems they have when these folks leave and file for unemployment benefits.

This ninebedroom house on Scarborough Street in Hartford’s West End is home to eight adults and three children, whose ‘cohousing’ arrangement has been deemed improper by city zoning officials.

11 People in One House? Hartford Zoning Case Part of National Trend

By Jay Stapleton |

The term "family" can conjure up Norman Rockwell-like images of a father, mother and two children living under one roof. But not everyone wants to live like that anymore.

Kelly Reardon

Norwich Priest Abuse Lawsuit Results in $1.1 Million Settlement

By Christian Nolan |

A Massachusetts woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest in Norwich has settled her lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich for $1.1 million.

State Troopers File Federal Lawsuit Over Union Dues

By Jay Stapleton |

Four Connecticut state troopers have filed a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut State Police Union (CSPU) and the state for allegedly violating their rights and refusing to follow federal reporting requirements.

Commentary: Proposed Consent Law Would Change Dynamics of Campus Sex Assault Cases

By Michael P. McKeon |

On March 24, the Connecticut General Assembly's Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee voted 14-3 to forward to the full Senate Committee Bill Number 636, "An Act Concerning Affirmative Consent."

Miles Gerety

Conn. Murder Case Revives 'Stand Your Ground' Debate

By Christian Nolan |

To the casual observer of local headlines, it may have sounded like just another crazy woman who killed the father of her child.

John Naizby

Fall From Fitness Device Nets $750,000 Settlement for Gym Member

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who broke her hip and wrist while working with a personal trainer at Planet Fitness has settled her lawsuit for $750,000.

Dwight Merriam

New Land Use Enabling Legislation Needed

By Dwight H. Merriam |

Connecticut's land use enabling legislation desperately needs a complete rewrite. What we must work with today is based on a 1926 model act by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act, and its model Standard City Planning Enabling Act of 1928.

Evan Seeman

Finding Salvation in Religious Law's Safe Harbor

By Evan J. Seeman |

Local governments have much to fear when faced with a suit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Defending against RLUIPA claims is costly, often reaching hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. And then there's the icing on the cake: a defeated government may have to pay the prevailing religious group's legal fees.

Lee Hoffman

Public-Private Partnerships Key to Transit Planning

By Lee D. Hoffman |

When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced his 30-year, $100 billion transportation plan for Connecticut, he gave the state a long overdue dose of Lipitor in an attempt to unclog the state's constricted transportation arteries.

Former Congressional Candidate Sentenced to Five Months in Prison

By Associated Press |

Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley was sentenced Tuesday to five months in prison for a scheme to hide the role played in her campaign by former Gov. John Rowland, a man regarded as talented politically but tainted by a federal corruption conviction.

Sarah Kowalczyk

EPA Enforcement of Lead Paint Rule Hits Home

By Sarah Kowalczyk |

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, established under the Toxic Substances Control Act and effective April 2010, seeks to prevent exposure to lead-based paint and/or hazards in residences, schools and other buildings frequented by children.

Conn. Court Ruling Allows Marijuana Users to Erase Convictions

By Christian Nolan |

The convictions of thousands of people who were previously busted in Connecticut for marijuana possession will likely go up in smoke following a state Supreme Court decision allowing those charges to be erased from criminal records.

Editorial: Questionable Appellate Decision Fells a Legal Giant

For more than a half century he reigned as one of the greatest trial lawyers at the bar. From his improbable (only one year out of law school)—but ultimately successful—representation of Dr. Sam Sheppard, charged with murdering his wife, to the brilliant and blistering cross-examination of rogue police detective Mark Fuhrman in the O.J. Simpson trial, F. Lee Bailey did what most trial attorneys can only dream of doing.

Editorial: Rowland Name Should Be Removed From Government Building

What kind of a message does this send to parolees, let alone law-abiding citizens? That government corruption is alive and well in the state of Corrupticut!

Paul Michaud

Law Practices See Surge in Business From Solar Energy Projects

By Jay Stapleton |

The solar energy market is heating up. And it's not just for-profit companies trying to turn sunshine into electric power—and money.

Elizabeth Barton and Michael Miller

Debate Continues Over Environmental Hazard Statute

By Elizabeth Barton and Michael Miller |

In place for almost 20 years, Connecticut General Statutes Section 22a-6u defines certain environmental conditions as significant environmental hazards (SEHs). The statute requires that the owner of a property where there is a SEH notify the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) when the SEH is discovered.

Emilee Mooney Scott

Is the Chemistry Right for Chemical Safety Reform?

By Emilee Mooney Scott |

Earlier this month, Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter, R-La., introduced the "Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act" (Lautenberg bill). Building from a bill introduced by Vitter and the late New Jersey Sen. Lautenberg in May 2013, the Lautenberg bill would make significant changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the primary federal statute addressing the safety of chemicals in commerce.

Conn. To Share In Pharmaceutical Kickback Settlement

By Christian Nolan |

A global pharmaceutical company has agreed to a $39 million settlement with the federal government and 49 states, including Connecticut, over allegations that its executives paid kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe drugs.

Editorial: Some Advice for the Legislature

As an entirely unsolicited and hopefully not entirely ignored offering, we ask the Connecticut General Assembly to take the following suggestions to heart.

Judge’s Ruling Could Limit Use of Electronic Billboards in State

By Karen Ali |

In the good old days, billboards consisted of a single image. The Coppertone girl. A new Chevrolet. A tourist destination.

Katherine Scanlon

Alumni of Defunct Big Firm Thrive in Boutique Setting

By Jay Stapleton |

When Katherine Scanlon was recently chosen to be the new managing partner of three-year-old Reardon Scanlon Vodola Barnes LLP, she received congratulations from a tight-knit network of former colleagues who worked with her in the Hartford office of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Editorial: Second-Chance Society Should Have Its Limits

This space has recently lauded the efforts of entities helping those released from prison re-enter society in a productive way. So Gov. Dannel Malloy's recent announcement of a number of initiatives under the rubric of a second-chance society is most welcome.

Conn. Lawyer Wins Key Second Circuit Ruling in Deportation Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Edson Flores is a convicted sex abuser. He is also an undocumented immigrant. Despite facing that double stigma, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that he should have another chance to argue that he should be allowed to stay in the country.

Christopher Smith

Variances, Nonconformities and More: A Primer

By Christopher J. Smith |

On March 10, the Appellate Court released a comprehensive decision addressing zoning variances and nonconformities, with a valuable discussion on what constitutes a "formal, official, collective statement of reasons" for a land use board's decision.

Conn. Lawyer Fined For Leaving Marijuana Bag in Courtroom

By Associated Press |

A Norwich lawyer says he'll pay a $150 fine to resolve an infraction over a bag of marijuana police say he left on a bench in the New London Judicial District courthouse.

Land Use, Title Insurance & Environmental Law

The topics in the Land Use, Title Insurance, & Environmental Law supplement: EPA targets connecticut city for paint rule enforcement, congress considers chemical safety law update, cities have safe harbor from religious zoning law, massive reforms needed for state land use laws, transit planning, development policies go hand in hand, court ruling is excellent primer on zoning law, and debate continues over environmental hazard statute.

Bank Asks Conn. Court To Order Billionaire to Pay $250 Million Judgment

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Connecticut is the seemingly unlikely venue for a legal effort by a German banking giant to collect a quarter-billion-dollar judgment obtained in a British court against a globe-trotting derivatives trader.

Rowland Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

By Associated Press |

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in a political consulting scheme on Wednesday, exactly one decade after he was ordered behind bars in an earlier scandal that forced him from office.

Mechanic With Pain Syndrome Settles for $1.75 Million

By Christian Nolan |

A mechanic who was badly injured in a car wreck and won't be able to fix motorcycles again has settled his lawsuit for $1.75 million.

Conn. Solo Plays Role in Arrest of Millionaire Murder Suspect

By Jay Stapleton |

It's been hard to turn on the television recently without hearing about Robert Durst, the estranged member of the wealthy New York real estate family that runs 1 World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: TV's 'Saul' Illustrates Desperation of Small Firm Lawyer

By Norm Pattis |

Looking for a realistic portrayal of the practice of law in a small firm? Then you had better call Saul, as in Saul Goodman, the fictional creation of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, creators of the new AMC series "Better Call Saul."

Editorial: Conn. Should Ensure Right to Counsel in Civil Cases

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been interpreted to ensure a right to counsel in appropriate civil cases in which basic human rights are at stake.